Latest post Tue, Mar 25 2008 2:50 PM by Mercedes. 10 replies.
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  • Mon, Feb 11 2008 5:25 PM

    • starwipe
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    Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    Do you keep your Avid project files locally, on Unity, or on a non-Unity shared server?  We're kicking around some different ideas and I'm wondering how other people are doing it and what works.  We do TV series and docs here (3 Composer, 2 Symphony/Nitris.)  We usually have each episode in its own project file then show elements in a separate projects.  Episodes are shared on occasion and show elements bins frerquently.

    Right now we keep projects on a separate workspace on Unity.  Our system is working out some kinks, but generally runs OK - our main issues seem to be unrelated (partial restores fail, possible bandwidth issue, DS runs very slow off Unity.)
    Home: AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 2.21 GHz / 1 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (128 MB RAM) / Win XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2 / 30 GB Hard... [view my complete system specs]
    Editor, Pyramid Productions - Calgary, Canada
  • Mon, Feb 11 2008 6:39 PM In reply to

    • Highnoon
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    i've put the DS/Symphony on ISIS/Interplay, but haven't booted it DS in forever. what sort of slowness should i be looking out for. As well, we run the Symphony almost exclusively from local storage, and use the Interplay/ISIS to look at the offline sequence and low-res media for reference only. do you guys use dynamic relink, etc? for simplicity, we pay a kid to redigitize a decomposed sequence into the Symphony/DS at night.

    unless it has changed, i don't think Unity project roots are recommended for Interplay, the Interplay is the shared project. i'm sure you could do it, but the bin lock/unlock accidental overwrite nightmare is something i don't want to get into simply because of how many hands we have to keep track of. in a smaller shop, i'm sure its much more manageable.

    we do episodic linear story-type tv (Emergency Vets) as well as magazine type shows (Unwrapped, Cool Tools), so the day to day collaboration between editors varies.

    workflow is like this for heavy collaborative shows:

    X number of editors create the local project on all of their machines with the exact same syntax, and the Interplay folder in Composer is set to the specific series, and set to append; so, multiple editors working on the same project check everything into one Interplay project, but the .avbs are on their local systems.

    anything they give to one another goes through the Interplay window on the Composer. a few problems every now and then with third party effects showing up as empty containers, but nothing major.


    39 MCsoft 2.7.7 w/Mojo HP XW8000-8200 Avid ISIS 1.4 64TB Avid Interplay 1.1.6 60 Avid Interplay Assist 1.6 2 Dual Boot Symphony Nitris/DS v8.0 HPXW9300... [view my complete system specs]
    Eli Hensley | High Noon Entertainment Technical Services Manager & Morale Officer the race for quality has no finish line...so technically it's more like a death march.
  • Tue, Feb 12 2008 3:33 PM In reply to

    • starwipe
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    I think I know what we're doing wrong.  We're opening projects directly out of the Unity workspace, instead of going into Access and clicking 'Get Latest' so we can work on a project locally and then check it back in.  I suspect that our system performance is low, we've been getting audio underrruns and such - that might be the problem.

    Does that make sense?  I am off to do some experiments.

    We don't store any media locally, it is all on Unity and we use Dynamic Relink.  We load media @ DNX145, then it is archived and we cut from a 15:1 proxy.  When the show is close to finished we do a partial restore from the original.

    Not a DS editor but I understand there are some serious performance issues.  System is crashing on renders and loading sequences for full half hour shows.  They can't output to tape on a 1/2hour show so they have to work by segments.  If our Symphony/Nitris systems are booted in DS, they work from consolidated media on Unity.  I think the theory with that is that we never have to go back to tape - our library is a bunch of decaying Betacam oxide interviews from the mid-90s.

    We have a 3rd DS but it's not on Unity since it's 64-bit.  Right now we're doing tape conforms if we finish on that system.
    Home: AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 2.21 GHz / 1 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (128 MB RAM) / Win XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2 / 30 GB Hard... [view my complete system specs]
    Editor, Pyramid Productions - Calgary, Canada
  • Wed, Feb 13 2008 4:53 PM In reply to

    • Highnoon
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    really, there are so many potential workflows with this thing, i don't know that there's a right or wrong way.

    to clarify, all of our offline res media is on the ISIS, and ingested solely by one scruffy looking kid in a dark room with 6 Media Composers. we only use the local storage on the DS/Symphony.

    i can't get a lot of our editors to let go of bins yet, hence the reliance on local project files. the utopian scenario is that everyone uses the interplay window in media composer as a sort of superbin and the .avbs eventually dwindle down, but it isn't really that practical. you'll never rid yourselves of project files and bins entirely, and redundancy is always good.

    without actually seeing it, your DS instability might be something with the Media Indexing Service. DS does containers differently, obviously, but the MI service looks to find all the elements in the sequence when you open its container or load it. open the TaskManager in windows when you load one and look at the memory allocated to the MIService.exe and see if it seems unusually high.


    i don't have the faith to try DNxHD145 over an ethernet connection, which predicates using the local storage on our DS/Symphony. but, that has its caveats, too. we're dropping frames on output with the network connection enabled. turn off the card, everything is fine. its got to be a busing issue with the HP9300, and we have an active case on it.
    39 MCsoft 2.7.7 w/Mojo HP XW8000-8200 Avid ISIS 1.4 64TB Avid Interplay 1.1.6 60 Avid Interplay Assist 1.6 2 Dual Boot Symphony Nitris/DS v8.0 HPXW9300... [view my complete system specs]
    Eli Hensley | High Noon Entertainment Technical Services Manager & Morale Officer the race for quality has no finish line...so technically it's more like a death march.
  • Thu, Feb 14 2008 5:13 AM In reply to

    • starwipe
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    Well, checking the project out didn't work - I have some setting in the wrong place.  All of our projects are 'external' and sitting on Unity.  I'm planning to experiment a little more later in the week if I can get ahead on my project.

    Our video is going over fibre lines so we can handle 145, but I think we have some sort of bandwidth or performance issue.  We always seem to get access violations and frame index errors, shows will not print reliably to tape, and multi-res sequences don't seem to work nearly as smoothly as Avid thinks they would.  Maybe this is the new standard for working over a network, but when I get an audio underrrun printing a 15:1 sequence I start to wonder.

    There are just so many variables and it's going to be a long time before any of them are under control.  We have a SGL interface between the archive media and Unity which seems to be buggy and is the suspected culpirit for partial restores failing.  Then there's our drives, which are always dangerously full...I'm talking over 95% on a regular basis, and that won't be under control until we catch up on the mastering backlog, if ever.

    Some of the engineers at Avid support seem to agree with you that projects on Unity aren't recommended, but other Avid guys have told us that advice comes from a news workflow and we're fine to stay on Unity.  Right now everyone is frustrated with the conflicting advice and just looking for a solid technical explanation before we change our procedures.

    We've kicked around the idea of minimizing bins, but a lot of editors really don't like it...personally I think if the Interplay window came with a better default set of working columns it would be a much easier sell :)  I know we can't get rid of bins entirely since right now editors import all of our own audio and graphic files...we do tapes from a centralized ingest room but we decided it would be too cumbersome to bother our ingest ops every time we need to add a VO.

    I'll pass the MI info on to our DS editors.  Sounds like the usual suspect...when I cut on DS I always found the MI flaky, even just using local storage.
    Home: AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 2.21 GHz / 1 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (128 MB RAM) / Win XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2 / 30 GB Hard... [view my complete system specs]
    Editor, Pyramid Productions - Calgary, Canada
  • Thu, Feb 14 2008 6:18 PM In reply to

    • Highnoon
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    starwipe:

    We've kicked around the idea of minimizing bins, but a lot of editors really don't like it...personally I think if the Interplay window came with a better default set of working columns it would be a much easier sell :) 

    I know we can't get rid of bins entirely since right now editors import all of our own audio and graphic files...we do tapes from a centralized ingest room but we decided it would be too cumbersome to bother our ingest ops every time we need to add a VO.
    >


    the column view in the interplay window (as opposed to the rigid set of columns from MediaManager Select, which is where we came from), is totally customizable. you just select your working set of columns and save as the equivalent of a bin view.

    the shared project root is probably more of a question of theory, not practice. local projects + interplay overlay gives you a level of redundancy, and the check in - check out function lets you share more transparently than a shared root, because its non-destructive copies in and out of the asset manager.

    as for the underruns, etc. run a Path Diag or some read write tests to rule out bandwidth or switching issues; but it probably is just that your system is pegged. dangerously full, indeed.


    39 MCsoft 2.7.7 w/Mojo HP XW8000-8200 Avid ISIS 1.4 64TB Avid Interplay 1.1.6 60 Avid Interplay Assist 1.6 2 Dual Boot Symphony Nitris/DS v8.0 HPXW9300... [view my complete system specs]
    Eli Hensley | High Noon Entertainment Technical Services Manager & Morale Officer the race for quality has no finish line...so technically it's more like a death march.
  • Thu, Feb 14 2008 8:18 PM In reply to

    • starwipe
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    Highnoon:
    The shared project root is probably more of a question of theory, not practice. local projects + interplay overlay gives you a level of redundancy, and the check in - check out function lets you share more transparently than a shared root, because its non-destructive copies in and out of the asset manager. as for the underruns, etc. run a Path Diag or some read write tests to rule out bandwidth or switching issues; but it probably is just that your system is pegged. dangerously full, indeed.


    True.  They've just hired people to run the I/O suite 24/7 so hopefully a show or two will get versioned and kicked off Unity.  Will pass on the info.
    Home: AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 2.21 GHz / 1 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (128 MB RAM) / Win XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2 / 30 GB Hard... [view my complete system specs]
    Editor, Pyramid Productions - Calgary, Canada
  • Fri, Feb 15 2008 4:28 PM In reply to

    • starwipe
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    Update: we are switching to local projects.  Our reasoning is that it will give us more breathing room on the 500,000 limit for number of files on Unity.
    Home: AMD Athlon 64 3500+, 2.21 GHz / 1 GB RAM / NVIDIA GeForce 6600 (128 MB RAM) / Win XP Professional Version 2002 Service Pack 2 / 30 GB Hard... [view my complete system specs]
    Editor, Pyramid Productions - Calgary, Canada
  • Thu, Mar 6 2008 8:18 PM In reply to

    • Stephen Hull
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    This is a great thread.  A lot of good information.

    I wanted to throw in our workflow for what its worth.  We have two Interplay systems; one on Unity and one on Isis.  Our format is both DNxHD 145 and MPEG50.  We keep all projects on shared storage and usually have two editors working on the same project at the same time.  With bin locking, we've had a few bumps but nothing tragic thus far.  I am fairly new here and was told that we used to have projects locally but ran into problems with two machine having different versions of the same project.  That was also before Interplay.

    The editors use the Interplay window mostly.  There are a few die hard bin importers but they also use the I-window.  We also use Assist to log and subclip when a suite is not available.  This is usually done by an AD or a logger. We run all media from shared storage and haven't had performance problems.  The Unity systems are all Adrenelines with one Symphony/DS.  We never use the DS either and the Symphony is mainly used for finishing.  The ISIS editors are Media Composers with Mojos.  At this time we don't have an archive system so once the show airs and masters are laid to tape, the source media goes away.  We have the original tapes (or P2 media) if we need to re-visit the project.  We keep the P2 on small G-Raids.

    We also do a lot of workgroup transfers which makes things easy to move from Isis to Unity for finishing on the Symphony.

    I feel like we have a good system in place but I am not an editor.  I manage it and they interact with it.  There are a few resistant folks but I just keep working with them saying things like "You know, there's an easier way to do that..."

    From my perspective things run smooth.  Almost all of our stuff is series work so we aren't faced with "ingest tonight, edit tomorrow, air tomorrow night."

    Thanks

    Unity, ISIS, Interplay, Media Composers [view my complete system specs]
    Stephen H Media Manager WinnerComm Tulsa, OK
  • Sun, Mar 9 2008 5:08 AM In reply to

    • lawsonr
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

    Hey, starwipe -

    I'm curious to learn what version of Interplay and SGL Flashnet you're running for your archives. Where does your archived media reside? Do you use a Sun/StorageTek tape archive?

    Avid NewsCutter v10.5.4, ISIS 7000 v4.6.1, Interplay 2.7, Interplay Central 1.8 [view my complete system specs]

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  • Tue, Mar 25 2008 2:50 PM In reply to

    • Mercedes
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    Re: Interplay for Post - where do projects go?

     Hi - I'll throw in our workflow as another version of life.

    We didn't come from Unity so were a clean sheet going in to Interplay.  Our projects are stored on an Isis  but we don't share the projects.  We check in to interplay using the 'Append Project' option on the Interplay folder so the project/bins are reflected in the folder structure visible in Access.   As we don't have an archive yet the folders/metadata and media are deleted from Interplay by the media managers post transmission - however the projects are retained and timelines etc are available as templates and are accessed by File > Open Bin.  The sequence or the effect is then duplicated and placed in a bin in the current project.  The 'Unity Bin' is then closed and NOT checked in.  This gives us the best of both worlds.

    As a bin happy editor I'm curious to know what you feel are the big advantages to using the I/W as opposed to bins!

    Mercedes

    Client Operating system : XP pro SP2 Client Avid version : 3.1.1.1 QT 7.5.5 Adrenaline Sys info: CPU :xw8200 4GB ram Interplay 1.5 ISIS 2.0.1... [view my complete system specs]
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